“We can find nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within us”
It’s shifting into the cozy, crisp time of year (in North America!)
The brilliance of color and the cool autumn breezes blow in a longing for coming together and celebrating family. Homeschooling in nature can be a teachers dream and a child’s playground. There is so much for the senses to behold!
The smell of fires burning and apple, pumpkins and hay. Feeling crunchy leaves, nuts, pinecones to collect for play.Tasting apple cider, pumpkin pie and other tasty treats inspired by the outdoors harvest.
Allowing children time to explore and commune with nature can be the best “teacher” around. For, what could be better than a child learning animal behaviors, finding birds nests and eggs by actually experiencing life outdoors.
Here’s a few tips for seasonal homeschooling.
*Use what is around you– learning counting or simple math? Use acorns, rocks, shells
or whatever is locally available. Collecting is part of the fun. Besides being economical,
it teaches what bounty is right in your backyard.
*Nature Journals can be a great way to document what is happening for an older child.
They can write and draw what they see while they are outside in their favorite tree.
*Festivals. Fall has many great festivals to celebrate and this is a great time to make a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and explore your nature area. Invite some other homeschooling families to make it really special.
*Create a Nature Table. A seasonal or monthly table to display current findings is a wonderful way to bring a hint of nature inside. Make sure to make safe for very young hands. Ideas:
-fall colored cloth
-dip leaves in beeswax or cut leaves from felt
-acorns, pinecones, or fall flowers
-small apples and pumpkins
*Carve out Nature Time. Give your child “free play” time to roam, explore and just “be”. It is amazing what they will learn during this unstructured moments. Sometimes learning happens in the best more organic ways.
*Seasonal specific books:
Wild Child by Lynn Plourde
One More Acorn by Don Freeman
Th Pumpkin Runner
The Festival of Stones by Reg Down
I go with my Little Lantern (Martinmas)
Little leaves fall gently down
red and yellow, orange or brown
whirling whirling round and round
quietly without a sound
gently falling to the ground
(fluttering fingers like little leaves and gently lowering bodies to the floor)
*Making Seasonal specific food:
Ex:Pumpkin pie or pumpkin muffins
Acorn squash with cinnamon
Halloween-dont forget to leave extra candy out for the sugar sprites! It is cold out now and they will need the extra sugar to get through the winter. They will reward candy donation with trinkets, books, feathers and stones.
Martinmas -Nov. 11- design a lantern to carry on your lantern walk, sing “Go with my little lantern”. Maybe have a bonfire. Book- The Festival of Stones: chapter 8 “St. Martins Light”
New to Waldorf? Watch the Masterclass “Waldorf for Newbies”